RPG Starved N64 Gets a Feast
Ogre Battle 64 - Review
| Battle System
| Replay Value
| Time to Complete
40 - 60 hours
October was a great month for RPG fans, at least for
Nintendo system owners. The bomb-shell new Pokemon release and the hyped
up release of the new Zelda game left perhaps the best release of the month on
the back burner for most gamers on a budget; Ogre Battle 64. Even I originally
bought the game just for something to do between Pokemon battles, but it ended
up taking up almost all of my time and effort. Everything needed to make a
great game is right here. The graphics, music, effects, and of course, the
story. Continuing the story of the Ogre Battle right on your RPG starved
The battle system is that great, one of a kind, Ogre
Battle strategy game. Basically you are in command of an army with
different units. You command these units to go any where on the map to
achieve your goals. Most often you must capture your opponent's base
to be successful. Strategy is the key as you need to place your units
against your opponent's units. The battles themselves occur when two
units meet head-to-head. There each army is not under direct control
by you, but rather you give your units a strategy to work with and they
attack based on that strategy, much the way real war-fare would be. To
win a battle your unit must do more total damage to the opposing unit then
what they are dealt. Strategy fans will eat up this difficult to
master system while new players will easily be able to learn the
The problem most new gamers might have with this game is
the menu system. Although extremely well done, the average Final
Fantasy RPGer will be over-whelmed with options and sub-menus
galore. The game does have a tutorial so that you can learn to play
well, but it's long and tedious. If you take the time to learn this
menu system you will find that it allows you to customize your army to be
whatever you want it to be.
The game moves at a fairly nice pace. The plot develops nicely
with fore-shadowing and plot twists that are sure to surprise you. However
some times your really not quite sure why your fighting your current enemy, it
almost seems as if some battles were just tossed in for the sake of being in the
game, slowing things down and may cause some players to lose sight of the plot.
|Freeing towns is always enjoyable
The music is beautifully composed and really gives you
the sense of war. The music always reflects that general mood of the scene
and allows the player to get even deeper into the already fantastic plot.
One down-side is the constant recycling of musical scores. There isn't to
much variety in there and often during battle scenes you may just pop in a CD
instead of listening to the same music yet again. The sound effects are
well done, but again they repeat often as you units will enter battle ALLOT
using the same moves resulting in the same effects. Of course equipping
different weapons or changing class will change the attack sound, you still do
allot of fighting with those same sounds over and over again.
If there is one thing that Ogre Battle is, it's
original. The way battles are done is pure innovation. While
it may be very similar to it's predecessors in the series it doesn't
matter because Ogre Battle is the only place you'll find this high-addicting
original form of war strategy game. Strategy nuts will love this
game and so will traditional RPGers out there.
The plot of the game is un-matched by anything on the
N64 and most other RPGs out there right now. The story starts your
character as a small time commander in an army and he evolves through-out the
plot into a new person, learning for all his trials. The supporting cast
is done very, very well. Every character has a unique and distinct
personality that causes them to take actions that make sense. No character
does anything just "because". The dialogue is what really makes
this game work. Each character has there own way of talking, which just
adds so much. Although slow moving at times, thanks to a few to many
battles, the plot still keeps you beating each battle to find out what will
happen next. You can play this game for four or five hours straight and
not get bored.
One thing I'd like to add is that there was absolutely
no censorship of this game when it came to the states. The adult
language allow some characters to really show their true colors, which
otherwise could not be possible. Although some times it seems the
game goes out of it's way to use vulgarity, overall the mature nature of
the game is done very nicely.
|'Cannon Fodder' is the name of the game
With multiple ends and numerous story lines this game is
totally replayable. As if the 40-60 hours per game wasn't long
enough you can go back through again, doing things differently and getting
a whole new story. My roommate and I each started games and within 8
hours into the game we already had almost completely different
plots. You won't be getting rid of this game after you buy it, worth
The game looks amazing as well. It's a very visually appealing game.
The N64's superior graphics (well superior to PSX any way!) are well shown
here. There is not a better looking game on the system and aside from FMV
on PSX games it's the best graphical RPG on the market right now (until Shen
The game is generally easy to play. If your not a veteran to the
Ogre Battle type of game you may have a hard time at first, but the game
is more story driven than anything else so the battles are completely
beatable. Although some players may see some difficulty in the later
missions most will have a found a formula that allows them to easily win.
|Those struck down get headaches
As I mentioned earlier the game takes about 40-60 hours to complete the
first time through. Very few games can make a claim like that.
And it's replayability is just off the roof. If your looking for
something to keep you busy for a while Ogre Battle 64 is it.
The game is genius. The innovative battle system, the deep plot, the
massive amount of play time, the extraordinary graphics all add up to recipe for
how to make a damn good game. Don't even bother with a rental on this
game, just buy and feel the love coming from your Fun Machine.